The southwestern French town where dog mess could cost owners €750

Bergerac has introduced ‘the heaviest fine in the country’ to ensure its public spaces are ‘clean and welcoming’

The town of Bergerac has introduced fines of up to €750 for owners who do not clear up their dogs’ mess
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Dog owners in the town of Bergerac (Dordogne) could risk a fine of up to €750 if they do not clear up after their dogs.

This comes as a result of a new decree issued by the mayor in April, created in the hope of making the town “clean and welcoming”.

“The mayor [Jonathon Prioleaud] is responsible for ensuring public safety and cleanliness,” the decree states.

It adds that: “People accompanied by a dog are obliged to immediately clear up the animal’s waste by any appropriate means” in the street, in parks, gardens and other public spaces, and that those who do not will be subject to a “class four penalty.”

This could mean a maximum fine of €750, according to the Code pénal.

“I think that this is probably the heaviest fine [for this type of infraction] in the country,” Loïc Dombreval, Alpes-Maritimes MP and specialist in animal matters, told AFP.

“Dog mess can be a real curse in certain communes, and dogs and their owners end up being stigmatised.”

In Bergerac, people with dogs must also carry “at least two pet waste bags during daily walks. A fine of up to €38 will be applied if not.” However, these bags are distributed for free in the town.

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